BUDDY POPPY

The "Buddy Poppy" comes from the Poppy Flower that grew in the fields of France and Belgium despite all the death and destruction during WWI.  The most popular, or maybe most well known, area where these flowers bloomed was in Flanders Fields.  Canadian physician Colonel John McCrae wrote the poem "In Flanders Fields" in May 1915.  This poem inspired the idea of the Remembrance Poppy, or "Buddy Poppy".  In May 1922 the VFW distributed the Remembrance Poppy for the first time.  Veterans often thought about their comrades that never returned from WWI and would call the Remembrance Poppy the "Buddy Poppy".  In 1923 the idea of the "Buddy Poppy" grew and the VFW decided to pay disabled veterans to make the "Buddy Poppy" and distribute them in May.  To this day, "Buddy Poppies" are made by disabled veterans and distributed around May (especially Memorial Day) and in some places around Veteran's Day too.  They can be distributed at other times of the year but May is the most common time.  Donations are accepted for the "Buddy Poppy" and the money goes toward many different causes that help veterans and their families.  Check out some more information on the "Buddy Poppy" and watch a video on "The Veterans Behind the Buddy Poppy" here.  
 
There is a lot more information out there about the Remembrance Poppy and I encourage you to read about the history of the Remembrance Poppy.  
 
Here in the Hamel area, the "Buddy Poppy" is made by veterans at the St. Cloud Veterans Hospital.  We distribute the "Buddy Poppy" in May and all donations go toward veterans in need here in Minnesota.  Some of the money collected goes to the National Home for Children in Eaton Rapids, MI.  Minnesota is a major supporter of the National Home.  
 
Traditionally our members would stand outside local businesses and hand out the "Buddy Poppy" to anyone interested.  We would also collect donations for the Buddy Poppy program.  Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are not sure when our members will distribute the "Buddy Poppy".  We hope to be standing in front of our local stores and distribute the "Buddy Poppy" by July 4th.  Even if we cannot distribute by July 4th, we will at some time be out there!  Please follow our website and Facebook page for updates as we learn more about the situation.
 
If you would like to donate to the "Buddy Poppies" program, please click on the "Donate Now" button below and select "Buddy Poppy" under the "(Optional) use this donation for" menu.  

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OUR MISSION

That the purpose of this Organization shall be fraternal, patriotic, historical, charitable, and educational: to preserve and strengthen comradeship among its members; to assist worthy comrades; to perpetuate the memory and history of our dead; and to assist their widows and orphans; to maintain true allegiance to the Government of the United States of America, and fidelity to its Constitution and laws; to foster true patriotism; to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, and to preserve and defend the United States from all her enemies.